It took only 19 minutes for Juventus to put away one of their alleged biggest rivals to the title this season in Italy, eventually beating Roma 4-1 in another fantastic display at home, helping everyone (except a few folk at Napoli) reach the same conclusion – Juve are just too much for the Serie A this season.
Pretty much the only team that was willing to spend and make upgrades this summer, it took apart Roma in minutes. Sure, it was one of those 20 minutes when everything right happened for Juve while everything wrong happened for Roma, including a penalty kick that this time was not a referee gift to the champions. But Juventus haven’t gone undefeated for 45 matches in the league because of luck or fortune. The squad that has been built there is simply too strong for most of their opponents, with enough defensive and offensive resilience to get through the rough patches. Like their 0-0 draw at Fiorentina.
They still haven’t got the striker they wanted, but it seems that a healthy rotation with Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella is the way to go. Things are determined by Mirko Vucinic’s fantastic playmaking abilities as a second striker, Claudio Marchisio’s strides forward in the second line with an improved passing ability, the underrated Arturo Vidal, and of course Andrea Pirlo, slowly finding his form in the new season after a slow start.
The 3-5-2 or whatever you want to call it is working only because Girogio Chiellini can play both centre back and left back, which allows him to move out of position and help when Asamoah or De Ceglie venture too far forward, while Martin Caceres (in a rare start instead of the fantastic Lichtsteiner) played in a more defensive role.
In yesterday’s match, for instance, it was a horrific Roma central defense that helped Juventus finish the game before some people reach their seats. Other times it’s simply the pressure they work from the wings and the middle, and the fantastic off the ball movement that puts this team a level above the rest. Their 2-2 draw against Chelsea comes to mind, with the team slightly unlucky to go behind but strong enough mentally to keep working their strengths and manage the draw.
Problems will still appear. It’s not hard to foresee some scoring problems when Vucinic is not playing or Andrea Pirlo is having an off day. Giovinco, while capable of the casual spark, goal or assist is still struggling to find himself when encountered with an ultra physical game. Matri and Quagliarella, or Bendtner still on the bench are all limited, each in his own way.
For Italy and the Serie A (although there’s still a Napoli match to decide these stuff), Juventus’ ability should be enough to win the title. In the Champions League, a bit of experience and a tad more quality up front would probably have been required, but they’ll make it into the knockout stage, where anything can happen. At the current level of the league and the current level of Juventus’ game, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them going undefeated once again.